There’s just a few weeks left in the 2022 NFL season and the field is heating up. Let’s take a look at a few of the best games for this Sunday slate and my NFL Week 17 Picks.
Chicago Bears (+210) at Detroit Lions (-250) – Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Chicago heads to Detroit this week for a divisional matchup against the Lions. The two teams previously faced off in Week 10, where the Bears held a 14-point lead going into the 4th quarter. However, they ultimately lost by 1 point, thanks in part to missing an extra point with 9 minutes remaining in the game.
Living up to the name Bad News Bears, Chicago is riding an 8-game losing streak following a Monday night surprise win in New England. This week, the Chicago offense will look to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. In the Week 10 matchup, the Bears rushed for over 250 yards. Additionally, one of Detroit’s 4th quarter touchdowns came on an interception taken to the house.
Detroit’s rushing defense is not strong, as we clearly saw last week when two Carolina backs ran for over 100 yards. Not to mention, running quarterbacks currently average 6.4 yards per carry against Detroit’s defense. Expect Justin Fields to have a day in this one.
Chicago Bears Notable Injuries: LB Sterling Weatherford (O), WR Chase Claypool (Q), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Q)
Detroit comes into this game as a team heading in the right direction. The Lions are 6-2 in their last eight games after starting the season 1-6. The key all season for Detroit has been scoring points, as the defense is one of the lowest ranked in the league. This week, quarterback Jared Goff and the offense will face a Chicago defense that gives up over 26 points per game. That stat is good for second worst in the league, second to only Detroit.
The Lions have spent too many games playing from behind this season, including last week against Chicago, and will look to come out scoring fast to open the offensive flood gates.
Detroit Lions Notable Injuries: C Frank Ragnow (Q), S DeShon Elliott (O)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Chicago Bears Start ‘Em
- Justin Fields 2. David Montgomery 3. Cole Kmet
Chicago Bears Sit ‘Em
- Khalil Herbert 2. Equanimeous St. Brown 3. Defense
Detroit Lions Start ‘Em
- Amon-Ra St. Brown 2. Jamaal Williams 3. Michael Badgley
Detroit Lions Sit ‘Em
- Josh Reynolds 2. Justin Jackson 3. D’Andre Swift
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions NFL Week 17 Picks
While last week’s loss in Carolina is not what Detroit needed in the final push to make the playoffs, it should be sufficient to focus the team and expose some weak spots before Chicago does. This game is quickly going to get out of hand for Chicago, with Detroit taking a comfortable 2-score victory.
Final Score: Detroit 33 – Chicago 20
Wicked Wager – Detroit Lions -10 (+163)
Wicked Player Props – Jared Goff Total Passing Yards Over 267.5 (-115)
David Montgomery Total Rushing Yards Over 60.5 (-110)
Minnesota Vikings (+160) at Green Bay Packers (-190) – Sunday 4:25 PM EST
The Vikings enter Week 17 with the division clinched and the playoff spot unlikely to move much. Minnesota currently holds the #2 spot in the NFC and could drop to #3 but in order to take the top spot would have to win-out and watch the Eagles lose their remaining two games. With that being said, these guys are competitors and with the chance to essentially knock-out division rival Green Bay the Vikings will play this game to win. Minnesota will look to the offense for success this week, an offense that has had some explosive weeks and a few held under 10 points. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing well, finding his many passing targets including receivers Jefferson, Osborn, and Thielen and tight end Hockenson. Running back Dalvin Cook had a slower week last week but will face a Green Bay defense ranked in the bottom five for yards per carry. He rushed for 90 yards in the first matchup on just 20 carries and the team had a total of 126 yards on the ground.
Minnesota Vikings Notable Injuries: James Lynch (O), Garrett Bradbury (Q), Irv Smith Jr. (IR), Ezra Cleveland (Q), Bisi Johnson (IR)
Green Bay’s hopes of a playoff birth this season are not dead yet. The Packers have won 3 games in a row coming into Week 17, including 2 road wins and a win over a playoff team in Miami last week. In those three wins, the defense has allowed 20 or fewer points in each game and has a total of 8 takeaways. In the first matchup with Minnesota in Week 1 of this season, they only held the Vikings to 23 points but had no turnovers and allowed Justin Jefferson 2 touchdowns and almost 200 yards (not the only team to be burned by the receiver this season, however). Jaire Alexander has said that performance was “a fluke” and has been playing lights out defense, but he and the entire backfield will have their hands full with the Minnesota passing attach. They will need to give the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and company as much as possible, an offense that has not been as strong as years passed but is scoring 26 points per game over the past 3 games.
Green Bay Packers Notable Injuries: Elgton Jenkins (Q), David Bakhtiari (Q), Aaron Rodgers (Q), Aaron Jones (Q), Christian Watson (Q)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Minnesota Vikings Start ‘Em
- Justin Jefferson 2. T.J. Hockenson 3. Dalvin Cook
Minnesota Vikings Sit ‘Em
- Kirk Cousins 2. K.J. Osborn 3. Alexander Mattison
Green Bay Packers Start ‘Em
- Aaron Jones 2. AJ Dillon 3. Allen Lazard
Green Bay Packers Sit ‘Em
- Romeo Doubs 2. Aaron Rodgers 3. Christian Watson
Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers NFL Week 17 Picks
Despite Green Bay’s resurgence in the second half of the season, Minnesota comes into this game with plenty more weapons. The Packers have shut down the last 3 offenses they faced, including the Dolphins, but still allowed big games to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Watch for Kirk Cousins to spread the ball well and for a high scoring game that comes down to a final game-winning drive.
Final Score: Minnesota 33 – Green Bay 26
Wicked Wager – Minnesota ML (+160) / Over 48 (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Adam Thielen Total Receiving Yards Over 43.5
Pittsburgh Steelers (+120) at Baltimore Ravens (-140) – Sunday 8:20 PM EST
Pittsburgh joins the list of teams coming into Week 17 who have their playoff hopes alive despite what that picture looked like mid-season. The Steelers have won 4 of the last 5 games (the loss being to Baltimore 3 weeks ago) and sit just a game back for the final wild card spot in the AFC. In those 5 games, the defense has allowed only 75 total points and no team has scored over 17 points. They will need this again in Baltimore, a team that has not scored more than 17 points in 4 weeks as well. On offense, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett will have to command the offense as Baltimore has shut down the run well this season. Running back Najee Harris will be useful for scoring but the Ravens held him to just 33 yards in the first matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers Notable Injuries: Marcus Allen (IR), Ahkello Witherspoon (IR), Myles Jack (Q), Larry Ogunjobi (Q), Tre Norwood (Q)
Baltimore comes into this game as a team that keeps finding ways to win without quarterback Lamar Jackson. While he will likely not make an appearance in this game, the Ravens beat the Steelers once already without him and look to do the same this week to keep their hopes of winning the division alive. Like Pittsburgh, a lot of the recent success for Baltimore has hinged on the defense that is holding running backs to under 4 yards per carry and quarterbacks to a sub-90 rating. Last time they faced the Steelers, quarterback Tyler Huntley only made 12 pass attempts, but the offense rushed for over 200 yards. The Raven offense will likely look to do that again using a combination of backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins with quarterback keepers.
Baltimore Ravens Notable Injuries: Tylan Wallace (IR), Geno Stone (Q), Lamar Jackson (Q), Nick Boyle (Q), Demarcus Robinson (Q)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Pittsburgh Steelers Start ‘Em
- Pat Freiermuth 2. Diontae Johnson 3. Chris Boswell
Pittsburgh Steelers Sit ‘Em
- Kenny Pickett 2. Jaylen Warren 3. George Pickens
Baltimore Ravens Start ‘Em
- Gus Edwards 2. Mark Andrews 3. Justin Tucker
Baltimore Ravens Sit ‘Em
- Tyler Huntley 2. Demarcus Robinson 3. Isaiah Likely
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens NFL Week 17 Picks
While Pittsburgh’s defense may be improving against the run, this game is shaping up to look a lot like the first matchup. Watch for this to be a run-heavy, defensive battle with a low score that makes the game close from start to finish.
Final Score: Baltimore 17 – Pittsburgh 13
Wicked Wager – Baltimore -2.5 (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Najee Harris Total Rushing Yards Under 59.5 (-120)